My cancer challenge just got bigger… it's back (again) and this time it's spread to my liver

My cancer challenge just got bigger… it's back (again) and this time it's spread to my liver

It's back, and it's spread.

This time my b****** disease is invading my liver, having already wormed its way into my bowel and wrapped itself around an artery.

I had this feeling it hadn't really gone, you know when you just know.

There are no symptoms, it was just a feeling.

Every twinge I felt, I feared it was cancer. Every time I ached, I knew it was back.

I had stopped putting dates in my diary beyond the start of December, a voice whispering in my ear "hold on Deborah, there's some sh*t you're going to have to deal with first".

Yes, it's disappointing, it is gutting. But it's not unexpected, despite my doctors' best attempts and my "F*** you cancer" motto.

'Two years on and I shouldn't still be here'

Nearly two years ago, my world was thrown into chaos when I was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer.

At the time, I didn't think I would make it through the first year – the stats speak for themselves, I shouldn't still be here.

But I am alive, and I am so grateful for that.

It just means while I'm still alive, so is my cancer.

'I planned my funeral waiting for scan results'

I can only plan my life six weeks ahead – those precious weeks between scans.

Last week was my routine monitoring scans, to check for new growths and monitor my response to treatment, which so far has covered:

  • one bowel resection op (complete with awesome scar)
  • 21 cycles of chemo – three different types – that left me pretty sick and with numb feet to boot
  • four lung ops to blast seven tumours (complete with second awesome scar)
  • CyberKnife treatment to try and obliterate an inoperable tumour wrapped around an artery close to my liver (we still don't know if this has worked).

After a CT scan and a PET scan – where they inject you with radioactive dye to find sneaky tumours – I went into a panic waiting for my results.

I had a melt down, got drunk, planned my funeral, pushed my loved ones away, desperately battled the urge to run away and escape life, and felt jealous of 21-year-olds, while going slightly mad.

'I cried, drank a lot and pushed away my loved ones'

I wasn't expecting a miracle, but 30 minutes before appearing on Matthew Wright's TalkRadio show last week, I got the call.

There was good and bad news.

The good… it isn't in my lungs any more. The bad… it's spread to my liver.

While it is common for bowel cancer to spread to the liver, I was hoping to escape this for a bit longer.

It's the largest organ and it filters a huge amount of blood, so I worry it's pumping power might be my downfall.

I cried. A lot. Then I woke up and realised it wasn't a dream.

In the last week I've been through all the emotions, from, "sh*t, I'm going to die", to writing a bucket list, planning my funeral for the tenth time to getting angry about how unfair life can be.

I've not slept, and every single pain or twinge I feel sends me into a frenzy.

But I've learned this is my normal.

'It's time for my next challenge'

No amount of positive thinking, and "I've got this sh*t attitude", is ever going to change it.

I will always freak out waiting for a scan result, all cancer patients will. We wouldn't be human if we didn't.

So now it's another wait, waiting to find out what my next round of treatment will entail, be it new drugs or another operation.

People always ask me, what does it mean? How long do you have?

The truth is, no one knows but my oncologist keeps reminding it's one step at a time.

He is more positive than I am, and continues to remind me I'm doing well.

'I know it's incurable, but I still have hope – and crucially options'

I've had a year off chemo and by most stage 4 cancer standards, that's bloody good going.

I know my cancer is incurable, but so is HIV, diabetes and MS.

I just want to be part of a new generation of incurable cancer patients who are able to manage the disease for a long time – a  really long time.

I am fully aware it's not a good sign that it's now in my liver, but I refuse to give up hope. It's not game over yet.

It's a new challenge, another round of treatment to try and eradicate the latest tumours.

'I pray my angel Rachael is looking down on me'

Operation, new drugs and riding on the wings of an angel.

I just pray my angel is Rachael Bland, I know she has my back and the brains to outsmart this one for me.

I just hope the power of my angel is enough.

While I still have hope and I still have options, what more can I really ask for?

So far cancer has made me stronger, stronger in the face of operations, my biggest fears and it's time to be strong again.

Cancer, I will try to take all you throw at me and more.

I have you in my sights, I see you and I will do my utmost to destroy you.

My new book F*** You Cancer is available to buy now – and gives a brutally honest view of what cancer is really like – buy it here now


Source: Read Full Article